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Full text of "Akbar, The Emperor Of India"

AKBAR,, EMPEROR OF INDIA.                           19
perial camp before Delhi, a most surprising sight met his
eyes. Men were running in every direction, fleeing wildly
before a raging elephant who wrought destruction to
everything that came within his reach. Upon the neck of
this enraged brute sat a young man in perfect calmness
belaboring the animal's head with the iron prong which
is used universally in India for guiding elephants. The
Rajputs sprang from their horses and came up perfectly
unconcerned to observe the interesting spectacle, and broke
out in loud applause when the conquered elephant knelt
down in exhaustion. The young man sprang from its
back an$ cordially greeted the Rajput princes (who now
for the first time recognized Akbar in the elephant- tamer)
bidding them welcome to his red imperial tent. From this
occurrence dates the friendship of the two men. In later
years Bihari Mai's son and grandson occupied high places
in the imperial service, and Akbar married a daughter of
the Rajput chief who became the mother of his son and
successor Selim, afterwards the Emperor Jehangir. Later
on Akbar received a number of other Rajput women in his
harem.
Not all of Akbar's relations to the Rajputs however
were of such a friendly kind. As his grandfather Baber
before him, he had many bitter battles with them, for no
other Indian people had opposed him so vigorously as they.
Their domain blocked the way to the south, and from their
rugged mountains and strongly fortified cities the Rajputs
harassed the surrounding country by many invasions and
destroyed order, commerce and communication quite after
the manner of the German robber barons of the Middle
Ages. Their overthrow was accordingly a public neces-
sity.
The most powerful of these Rajput chiefs was the
Prince of Mewar who had particularly attracted the at-
tention of the Emperor by his support of the rebels. The